chapter  7
A Form of Silence design for doing no-thing
Pages 19

In the woods a mile or two south of the town of Woodstock, New York is a crudely built, barn-like structure. This is the Maverick Concert Hall, which has been a venue for summer recitals since 1916. Over the years many distinguished musicians have played here, but it is especially well known for hosting the 1952 premiere performance of John Cage’s controversial composition 4’33”, also called the ‘silent’ piece because no notes are actually played. Cage wrote of this work, ‘Silence is not acoustic. It is a change of mind, a turning around.’1 Today, we are certainly in need of a change of mind, a turning around, and design’s part in this will be to create conceptions of material culture that express new attitudes and evince sensibilities quite different from those associated with consumption and consumer society.